Abusive Relationships Are Real Things, But They Always Look Normal When You're In One

Abusive Relationships Are Real Things, But They Always Look Normal When You're In One

Sometimes your biggest pain can be disguised behind the loveliest bouquets


As a college student, I have a million things on my mind. Homework? Studying? Fitting in time to go to the gym? Social life? What am I going to do with my life? And lastly, at the back of every girls' mind (whether she likes it or not), when will I find "The One"? This is a pressure that is unnecessarily felt by thousands of girls (and guys!), and certainly doesn't help with all of the other things we have to think about that are… a bit more important right now!

Once you begin to tackle the process of finding a significant other, you face many obstacles, and not every situation may work out in your favor. Sure, there may be times when you get stood-up, shed a couple tears, and spend a little too much time overthinking a witty, yet breezy, yet flirty text to send to your crush in your Business class; but one thing that should never be a part of this process is emotional or physical abuse.

Many people may shrug off the legitimacy of emotional abuse because there are no bruises, no cuts to see. I am here to tell all of you, emotional abuse is a very REAL and very COMMON thing. Being taken advantage of, bullied, taunted, or scared of your significant other is not something that should be seen as normal. Ever. But for many people, the sad reality is that they begin to believe that this is what love is. I am here to tell you, it is not.

You quickly start to realize, after leaving a toxic relationship, just how abnormal things really were. Anxiety which was brought upon me in a past relationship was something I saw as normal: Who DOESN'T have to compulsively check their Snapchat and Messages to see who their other half is with, what they are doing, if they are ignoring you… right? Wrong.

After recently going through a major self-improvement bout, I have begun to realize what a healthy relationship looks like. A healthy relationship doesn't necessarily look like flowers, expensive jewelry, fancy dates, and Instagram-worthy posts of you and your beau. A healthy relationship is a shoulder to cry on when you are hopeless, a hand to hold while sitting in church on a Sunday morning, getting a funny Twitter post from him/her just because "it made them think of you", and a vanilla milkshake when you have a fever. It isn't always the "cute" moments that make a relationship special, it's the messy moments.

The person who you know you can count on to lift you up, not helplessly pull you down. The person who will stay up into the wee hours of the morning to help you with a critical essay you have been stressing over, or flash cards for a big test. That is the person you want to hold close.

It is hard to believe that just 10 months ago, I thought a person like this didn't exist. I thought that love meant pain, meant sadness, meant loneliness, most of all, I thought love would always be something unrequited. Today, I am proven wrong. Not only by my considerate and funny boyfriend but by my incredible, uplifting, kind friends and family.

I write to you as someone who has found her way back on track. Love (rather, what you think love is) can cause you to wear INTENSELY rose-colored glasses, which is painful but true. For those of you trapped in an unhealthy relationship, there will be brighter days ahead.

All it takes is one helping hand to lead you towards true happiness, one person to change your whole perspective of love. Sure, a bouquet of sunflowers is always my favorite surprise, but I will never again let it shield me from the pain behind those sunny colored petals. Because now, I finally know how it feels to be loved.

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Why I Will Tell My Children To Wait Until Marriage

Abstinence isn't just a religious thing.

Having grown up in the Bible Belt, I was an avid church goer as a child. Both the church and my parents preached at me that "abstinence is key." They always just said that you shouldn't do anything with someone before you're married because it is just the right thing to do. I always heard that it was just frowned upon, I didn't know that it could be devastating in the future.

Many of us don't wait until marriage. In today's society, abstinence isn't exactly the top priority of our generation. Personally, I didn't wait and fell into the demographic of being "normal." I thought maybe I could find love. I believe most girls convince themselves they can marry just about anyone down the road because it helps us accept what we do. When you are doing what everyone around you seems to be doing, it makes it feel as though it isn't as "wrong" as you thought it was when you are growing up.

Until I met the love of my life, that was my mindset. It wasn't necessarily wrong and it didn't impact anyone other than myself. It turns out I was very wrong. After numerous liars and jerks, I finally found the man that I have always wanted. The guy who gives us that dream that we all have as little girls, but gave up on as we grew older. Neither of us waited until marriage, and neither of us thought of each other. We didn't know each other until we started dating, but we didn't think of the one that we would one day marry. I never knew how someone's past could devastate me. I struggle daily with insecurities and comparisons to the girls he has been with. I don't want to, but I can't help it. I know that he feels the same way about my past. It causes distrust in a society where distrust is already easy enough to have. I never wanted to be that girl that compared myself to others, but it's hard not to think about the other girls and if they were better or if he still thinks about them.

This is why I will tell my children to wait. Not just because God says so, but because it does involve someone other than themselves. It hurts the one they end up marrying. It hurts them later in life. I want my children to do their part of not instilling this lack of confidence that I find myself struggling with. Maybe we can raise our children to be a generation where sex isn't just sex, and it means something again. If abstinence isn't appealing to you because of God, maybe it can appeal to you when you think of that dream guy or girl. Wait for him. Wait for her. Wait for yourself.

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To The Boys From My Past, I Hope You Know...

I was fine before you and I'll be fine after you, too.


That feeling. That stinging, throat-in-lump feeling. That feeling that you get when it finally hits you that you've lost someone. Your time with them has finally come to an end. They came, they served their purpose, they taught you lessons, but now it's time for them to go. I can think of them as wasted times, but that would be a lie. Through every ending I've had, I learned something new.

The first love with many lessons

You taught me everything. You showed me what I wanted. You were my first love.

You set my expectations so incredibly high, that it'll be hard to find someone that compares to you. We grew together for so long, that I could never forget you.

. . but you also taught me what pain is. You showed me what it's like to be broken. You were my first heartbreak.

By now I hope that you've realized that not a single girl you cheated on me with will ever compare to even half of who I am. I hope you realized what you did, what you gave up. But I also hope that by now you know that I have forgiven you.

I still wish you the best and I will always pray that you find someone and are able to love them the way you once loved me.

The best friend who I simply wasn't ready for

You made me laugh often. You showed me what I deserve. You were my best friend.

Through you, I learned that a relationship is work - it's effort, yet, you were always so willing to give it. Since we were able to build a foundation based on pure friendship, it just made our relationship that much better.

However, for the mistakes I made, I'm sorry. I didn't deserve you.

I wish I could've reciprocated the same feelings you showed me, but I know that someday you're going to find a girl that will. They're going to accept you and your love whole-heartedly. You will be happier with someone else than you were with me, I promise.

I know you're going to end up in the right place with the right heart.

The guy who will take my heart a thousand miles around the globe

You taught me how to validate myself as a person. You showed me that there is beauty in vulnerability.

Through you, I made some of the best memories. Some of the memories that I'll keep close to my heart for the rest of my life. In the year I've known you, I learned more about myself and the world around me than I have in my 19 years of living.

"We are just like the waves that flow back and forth. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning and you're there to save me and I wanna thank you with all of my heart".

I know you will love the right girl in ways she won't be able to fathom. I know you're going to make someone out there live a blissful life. I know that when the right girl comes around, you will be ready for her.

I want to wish you nothing but happiness on your brand new start. Always remember, I'm here for you.

The "what if" I'll never hear from again

You overlooked me. You didn't want me. You made me wonder, but you also made me have hope.

You showed me what it's like to want someone but not be able to do anything about it but pray, but trust God.

I have yet to know if you were really the perfect guy for me or if I made myself believe you were the perfect guy for me.

Love wasn't a priority for you, but I get it. We're all in different wavelengths at this time in our lives that I have no reason to be upset. However, that doesn't change the fact that I wish I could've gotten a chance with you.

There are many lessons I could've taught you, but I know that another one will come around and teach you themselves. I know that whatever girl ends up with you is going to be so, so lucky.

You made it hard for me, but I know you'll make it easy for someone else.

The ambiguous new adventure that's waiting

You're new, you're exciting, you're a whole new adventure ahead of me. I don't know what will become of us, I don't even know if something will become of us, but I'm so excited to see.

You are kind, you are gentle. You are patient and you are pure.

My friends see the smile I have on my face when I'm around you. They say I'm happier than I've ever been before.

I believe them.

Thank you for accepting not only myself, but those I love too. Wherever we may end up, I hope you know that however long or short our time is together, you are a blessing. You are my blessing.

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